Mitsch Bush to visit with constituents Sunday in Steamboat Springs |

Mitsch Bush to visit with constituents Sunday in Steamboat Springs

Diane Mitsch Bush

— Rep. Diane Mitsch Bush, D-Steamboat Springs, is happy to be home during a break in a hectic schedule, and she wants to catch up her local constituents.

Mitsch Bush is hosting a town hall meeting from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. Sunday at Bud Werner Memorial Library. It is the first meeting the House District 26 representative has held in Routt County since the 2013 legislative session ended May 8.

In addition to Routt County, Mitsch Bush represents Eagle County, and she recently held town hall meetings in Eagle and Basalt.

"I'm hoping to let people know what I've been doing," Mitsch Bush said. "I'll start with the budget, then I'll talk a little about my bills."

During her first 120-day legislative session as a freshman representative, Mitsch Bush sponsored four bills, including House Bill 1278, which set requirements for reporting oil spills. All of the bills she sponsored became law, and Mitsch Bush was named among the most efficient legislators of the session by the Colorado Capitol Watch group.

"I want to talk about how I did that," Mitsch Bush said.

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Mitsch Bush is serving on an interim transportation committee and an interim water committee in order to prepare for the next legislative session, which begins Jan. 8. She said that being on the committees has allowed her to travel throughout Colorado and to meet with residents, officials and stakeholders about various issues related to the committees. For example, last week, Mitsch Bush was in Gunnison, where she heard a presentation from the U.S. Forest Service about the impacts of wildfire on watersheds. She also toured a Grand Mesa Reservoir dam.

Mitsch Bush said that one of the goals of the interim committees is to see whether legislation needs to be introduced to address problems.

Mitsch Bush foresees water and education issues potentially being main focuses during the 2014 session.

She said water discussions are being prompted by ongoing drought as well as a directive from Gov. John Hickenlooper to develop a draft water plan by the end of 2014.

"I think water is going to be huge," Mitsch Bush said.

Education also could take center stage depending on how Coloradans vote in November on Initiative 22, which would raise $950 million in tax revenue for K-12 education.

"If the ballot issue passes, we have some funding," Mitsch Bush said. "If it doesn't pass, we have to look at other possibilities for K-12."

After the town hall meeting, Mitsch Bush will head back on the road to meet with the superintendent of Eagle County Schools. She also will meet with representatives from the Eagle County business community before going to tour a biomass plant Tuesday in Gypsum.

To reach Matt Stensland, call 970-871-4247 or email

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